Friday, 23 December 2011

2011 almost over

Well, I'm sitting here at my desk at 8:00 am on the 23rd of December, and the farthest thing from my mind is work.  I hope the city is aware as I look at everyone elses computer screen that its really hard to try to force people to work so close to xmas.  For example, I'm spending my last few hours searching for good options for Jen's next new vehicle.  My neighbour here is just random googling.  2 ladies to my left are trying to extend their conversation to the quiting bell.  Its all very comical, but at the same time, no surprise. 

For me, 2011 was an up and down year.  I sold my first place (a condo).  It was a place I worked really hard on, renovating everything from the kitchen, the floors, and paint.  It was a crazy learning curve.  Made a lot of mistakes along the way, but in the end, couldn't be disappointed in the return profit I got.

It was my first home bought with my first (and last) fiance.  This was scary and intriguing at the same time.  We bought a foreclosure because we saw value that would have never been in reach for us at the time.  Again, it took sweat and aches to get the place to where we wanted it to, but currently, it looks as though our neighbourhood is booming, so our built in equity was accomplished:)  We also lucked out with our neighbours who are currently celebrating Hanukkah, very nice family.  Our dog loves the off leash park 2 blocks away, and Jen and my commute is under 15 minutes with rush hour never a concern.  If it wasn't for the fact we share 1 wall (infill) and have a small backyard, this could be a long term home.

Our kitchen
This year was also the first time I had my truck stolen...followed by a second truck stolen 2 months later.  Apparently there must of been someone in the area scoping out all the Tacoma's.  This was basically a 6-7 month headache that is JUST now resolving itself.  I had to buy a fancy new alarm, something my pocketbooks did not appreciate.

My second truck that was stolen




In April, I started a new career path, getting away from the consulting business in the oil industry and working for the city.  I truly hated working for engineers.  So with the city, I became a stormwater tech, which allowed for me to be home on a consistent basis and work out in the clean outdoors near rivers.  This was greatly needed as we had a little dog to care for and a large home to attend to. Also, someone needed to be around when Jen was on one of her crazy week long calls.  The micromanaging was the hardest hurdle in my job to get over.

Jen passed ALL her tests needed and is now a full fledged GI doc.  This was a long process for the both of us (longer for her I know...14 years for her, 4 years for me).  She worked crazy hours all year with extra call, but it "paid" off in the end.  The skies the limit now and she is now actively talking with several groups to cement down a long lasting career.

Getting primed for the Vegas strip
This year we travelled a few times.  We visited Jen's dad in Phoenix for a full week.  We golfed 4 rounds (which buggered up my knee), and did a bunch of shopping.  We went to Vegas with our friends in May.  This one was not as fun as the other dozen or so times we had gone, but it was still a good time.  We did a road trip to Seattle which was a blast!  We stayed at the Sheraton downtown.  This would of normally cost us over $220/night, but because we gambled on hotwire.com, we scored 4 nights there for $180/night.  We saw a mariners game, walked the town, and went to several wineries.  Our last few days were spent on the hippy island of Hornby Island.  Here we met with our friends Heather, Rob, Dan, and Sheri.  We camped, did more local wineries, and relaxed.  Well worth the 3 ferries to get there lol.
The mariners game...8th row

Hornby Island
This year was also consumed with our wedding planning.  Wow what a headache.  The invitations alone were a battle.  We currently have a wedding planner in Maui who is overseeing all our vendor scheduling.  We are over budget by $4,000.  Not only that, but when we invited 120 or so guests, we were expecting maybe 50 at best...we are now at 65!  At any rate, it will be a great party and hopefully we will be able to capture all of them with our photographer Jenna who is part of Jen's family (cousin).

This xmas I will be leaving in 2 hours from work to Edmonton.  As we speak, Jen is packing my truck so we can get away as soon as I arrive.  We will be spending 3 nights with Jen's dad and Jen's step mom's family.  After that, we will be driving to Prince Albert to spend a few days with my family...have my birthday at a bowling alley which is slowly turning into a tradition.  I hope to also take Jen on the quad on the trails behind our house...maybe have a campfire.  Then we will make the long drive back and HOPEFULLY ski...pending on my stupid knees!

After that, 2012 will arrive, and most likely I will be doing little to nothing to celebrate its arrival.

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